Tribute to two West Monroe teens at Bastrop rodeo - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Tribute to two West Monroe teens at Bastrop rodeo

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From Left to Right: Kyle Phillips & Mitchell Whitehead From Left to Right: Kyle Phillips & Mitchell Whitehead

BASTROP, La. (KNOE 8 News) - It's rodeo season in Morehouse Parish, and Saturday's event will not be soon forgotten.

The Morehouse Activity Center hosted a rodeo for the North Louisiana Rodeo Association. It started like most rodeos do, with the youngest riders doing a mutton buster, but this rodeo, wasn't your typical rodeo.

A 2-hour late start, all for one rider. Mitchell Whitehead, 16, planned to ride a bull in the competition, but Wednesday Whitehead and his cousin Kyle Phillips died in a house fire.

NLRA Director Clint Thrash says Whitehead was one of the best, "he was a good rider, rode really good. We will never be able to replace Mitchell Whitehead."

Friends of both the young men say Mitchell was an "awesome bull rider, great friend, but a terrible speller though."

A lifetime of rodeo led to Mitchell's father, Brian, taking his place at the rodeo.

"I didn't want it to be done," says Brian Whitehead about his 7.77 second ride on the bucking bull. It was the first time in about 15 years Whitehead rode.

"It was all for him," says Whitehead, "I did it all for Mitchell. He loved this sport."

It was an experience this family will never forget. The mother of Kyle Phillips said that she knew these boys were loved, but never realized how much of the community loved them.

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